Each December I feel as though I should just keep my wallet out and open, ready to dole out a dollar here or a fiver there. The holiday season is packed with spending: shopping, charitable donations and even property taxes. How’s a person supposed to catch a break? In the spirit of the Season of Giving, here are some freebies to take advantage of.
Templates. I’ve seen templates for stationery, brochures, newsletters and even logos, and they range in price, edging into triple digits. But PsPrint offers free templates for such important items as event tickets, posters, presentation folders, catalogs and club flyers. If your graphic design skills are limited, free templates offer a quick and cost-effective way to create your own printed materials. Shipping. I have a rule for myself when it comes to holiday shopping – I refuse to pay for shipping and handling. So many online retailers offer free shipping that I simply can’t stomach paying twice as much for a gift to cover the mailing costs. So look around for the online shops that waive shipping. For example, Amazon offers free Super Saver Shipping for two more days if you want your order to arrive by Christmas, and Zappos not only always ships for free but also offers free returns on your shoe order. Freecycle. Have you ever lost yourself scrolling through Craigslist or eBay, finding treasures you didn’t know you need? Freecycle is like that but better, because it’s all free. You simply join a local group and find things that people want to get rid of. Some of it’s junk, of course, and could be useful in a Burning Man project, but you’d be surprised at how much valuable stuff people give away: computers, household appliances, baby items, firewood, etc. In addition, Freecycle is a great opportunity for you to get rid of that old filing cabinet or oversize suitcase taking up space in your closet. And you can feel good about keeping junk out of landfills! Advice. I can’t imagine starting up a business, say, 30 years ago, before the Internet was so prominent in our lives. These days you can do a search and quickly find everything from legal advice to reviews of vendors to price comparisons. Businesspeople have had to find a new way to promote themselves, so they tend to give out a lot of free advice on the Internet. Whereas 20 years ago you might have paid a consultant hundreds of dollars per hour to learn how to build your company, nowadays you can find tips online. Check out PsPrint for a bounty of free articles on topics such as small-business marketing, graphic design, tips for new businesses and how to be environmentally friendly.